What Are The Seven Chakras In Yoga?
Everyone needs time for relaxation and meditation. This is the moment when you let your body and mind relax and experience calmness. This is the main reason why people take yoga classes. When you do yoga, you must learn what are the seven chakras in yoga to help you understand how yoga works.
The chakras refer to the location in your body that serves as the channel of energy. They run along your spines, from your toe to your head. Each serves a vital role in your meditation. And as a Yogi, you must familiarize these chakras.
Here are the seven chakras in yoga.
Muladhara Chakra (Root based chakra)
In yoga, Mula means roots, and Adhara means base or foundation. It usually is called the root chakra. This chakra connects the human consciousness to the earth and serves as the foundation for the development of the personality.
The Muladhara Chakra is situated at the coccyx or the tailbone, which is at the bottom of the spine. Its symbol resembles the Lotus flower with four petals. The four petals represent the functions of the psyche: the mind, ego, consciousness, and intellect. The animal associated with the Muladhara is the elephant with seven trunks. This is because an elephant is a symbol of wisdom, and its trunks symbolize the seven elements of the earth.
The Muladhara promotes the attributes of growth, vitality, and vigor. So, when your Maladhara is open, you will feel at peace. You feel comfortable, feeling stable, and relaxed. You know your root chakras is well-balanced when you feel the sense of security and the sense of safety to explore new things. Since the root chakra directly relates to your feeling of being at peace or secured, when anything in your life caused insecurity, the root charka will automatically misalign or block. This further increases your level of anxiety, being indecisive, and low self-confidence. Physically you will feel pain at the back or legs, digestive discomfort, and cold hands and feet.
When you have the mental and physical symptoms of the blocked root chakra, you can perform the following steps to help you:
- Sit with your spine straight and your shoulders back. Close your eyes and relax all your muscles. Perform deep breathing. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
- Fix your attention to the location of your root chakra and notice any tightness in the area.
- The root chakra element is red, so try picturing a red glow at the base of your spine. This glow makes the whole area warm and relaxed as the glow slowly expands. Rest this sensation for three to five minutes.
- When you feel ready to restart the day, slowly open your eyes. Sit for a few minutes before you stand and attract positivity.
This chakra will definitely help stay on track and lessen the stress and depression you feel. You can also try reopening your root chakra by changing your diet. You can go for organic food because this chakra is opened by anything related to tribal roots. You can also get protein-rich food. It helps to ground you and promote physical strength. Red food and root vegetables are also highly advisable.
Svadhisthana (Sacral Chakra)
What are the seven chakras in yoga? One of these is Svadhisthana, which means the residence of one’s self. The word Swa means one’s own, and adhisthana means seat or abode.
The Svadhisthana is the second chakra and is associated with water. It provides directs to access flexibility, flow, and fun. It is considered your passion and pleasure center. And it is situated in your pelvic area, which is two-finger width above the root chakra. The chakra’s symbol is a lotus flower with six petals with a crescent moon at the center. The circle represents the infinite and cyclical nature of energy—birth, death, and then rebirth. Therefore, it connects to the unity with one’s self, other creatures, and with a higher purpose.
With Svadhisthana, you are addressing your relationship with others and yourself. You will learn to develop a healthy relationship with others and learn insights into your deepest emotions. You will also learn to express yourself creatively and set healthy boundaries with that expression.
When you have a healthy Creativity Chakra, you are able to source energy for relationship and pleasure, desire and procreation, movement, and creativity. Mentally, when this chakra is blocked, you have experienced emotional and psychological difficulties like depression, detachment, jealousy, and fear. Its physical symptoms may include constipation, back pain, urinary, kidney infection, abnormal menstruation, gynecological cysts, infertility, and impotency.
The opening and unblocking of creativity chakra can be done with the use of Sacral chakra stone. These are the orange calcite, moonstone, carnelian, and citrine. You can make then part of your clothes or jewelry. You can also do the below healing meditation steps:
- Look for a quiet place where you can’t be disturbed. Sit comfortably with your spine straight and limbs relaxed.
- Take slow deep breaths. Count it until ten.
- Picture an orange spinning circle in the location of the sacral chakra.
- Now, imagine this orange element spreading like waves that are slowly enveloping your whole body. You then feel warm.
- Do this for at least five minutes or as long as you feel comfortable. Then open your eyes when you are ready.
The food associated with sacral chakra also helps in unblocking this chakra. Since orange is the color of this chakra, you can include in your diet orange-colored fruits and vegetables. Food and oils from coconut are also advisable. Clear liquids like vegetable broths and fruit teas are also an excellent option.
Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra)
The Manipura is the third chakra. It is associated with fire and linked to your sense of self. It comes from the word mani means jewel, and the word Pura means place or city. Thus. Manipura means the city of jewels.
The Manipura Chakra is situated behind the navel. Its color is yellow, and the animals designated to represent it is Ram. Since its corresponding element is fire, it is also known as the sun center. The symbol of navel chakra is a Lutos flower with ten petals. These ten petals represent the ten vital forces or Pranas. These pranas nourish all functions of the human body. The symbol also contains a triangle shape with its tip pointing downward. This indicates growth, development, and energy.
The chakra provides you the power to control your life with determination. It gives you the confidence you need to eliminate the areas of your life that do not serve and the confidence to let go. With this chakra being activated, you will feel confident and empowered. When the Manipura chakra is blocked, you will feel powerless. Sometimes you have the feeling of being aggressive, neediness, overly rigid, or lack of direction. Physically, the misalignment of this chakra can cause improper processing of nutrients, eating disorders, and constipation. It is also associated with illnesses like ulcer, diabetes, issues with liver, colon, and pancreas.
One of the ways of unblocking your Manipula chakra is by using yellow gemstones like citrine, amber, sunstone, yellow jasper, golden calcite, and yellow jade. You can also do healing meditation to open your Manipura chakra. Sit comfortably while your eyes are close. Picture a golden ball glowing over your navel. Do this for a few minutes as it gives you a warm feeling as you take deep and calming breaths. Yellow-colored food like squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, yellow peppers, pear, corn, and lemons can also provide healing power for this chakra.
Anahata (Heart Chakra)
Learning what are the seven chakras in yoga helps you understand its benefits and effects. One of these seven chakras is the Anahata, also known as the heart chakra. It is associated with air, and its color is green. The word Anahata means unstruck or indestructible self. It connects you with your emotional qualities, such as openness, love, and peace. It helps you to experience the feeling of unconditional love and fuels your compassion towards others and yourself.
The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest. It is the fourth chakra from the bottom of the spine. Its symbol is a lotus flower with 12 petals, and within its circle is two intersecting triangles forming a six-pointed star. These upward and downward triangles represent the male and female energies mingling. The combination of the 6-point star and 12 petals represents the 72,000 energy channels. This is why Anahata the central chakra that connects the whole system.
When your Heart chakra is open, you feel connected with all being that is around you. You appreciate the beauty in all things and show compassion and empathy. With the healthy alignment of Anahata, you easily embrace change and transformation. You feel the need to accept things and show forgiveness. It shows you your capacity to love and experience deep and meaningful relationships. The love you experience through the Anahata is more than just romance and going beyond the limitation of ego.
Anahata is blocked when you emotionally feel overly defensive or being closed down. You also feel the need to seek or rely on others’ approval and to try to please others at all costs. You tend to hold grudges as well, and do not want to forgive. The physical manifestation of an imbalanced heart chakra includes illnesses associated with the respiratory system like lung infection and bronchitis. You will also experience circulatory and heart-related issues.
To help you stay on track, do a simple meditation technique. Do the usual breathing exercise while you close your eyes sitting comfortably. Try to relax until you finally feel that you are ready to face the day. You can also start cultivating your appreciation for beauty, whether it is in people, nature, or in the arts. Engage in activities that feed your heart, like you can practice self-care by taking a warm relaxing bath. Reflect on old wounds you got from relationships and address them compassionately and find the way deep within your heart to forgive them.
Vishuddha (Throat Chakra)
The Vishuddha or Throat Chakra means pure or purification. This is related to sound, and its color is blue. This is why it is referred to as throat chakra because the sound is propagated into the air through the throat, and you can feel it into your whole body. It is an important element of communication and expression.
Vishuddha is located at the level of the throat. This chakra is multidimensional and can be treated as going out of the front and going in at the back of the throat, also going in at the back and at the slight upward angle. The Symbol of this chakra is like a lotus flower with 16 petals. The 16 petals represent the 16 vowels of the Sanskrit language. These vowels are pronounced in light and breathy manner, which represent the airy quality of communication.
The behavioral and psychological characteristics of this chakra are expressions, which are speaking up for what you believe; and communication, which is verbal or non-verbal. The chakra also provides you the realization of your purpose and feeling a good sense of timing. Since the throat chakra is about expressing yourself, it has a natural connection with Sacral chakra—the center of emotion and creativity. Opening this chakra helps you connect your vision into reality, and at the same time, it releases pleasure that affects the heart.
An imbalanced throat chakra contributes to the feeling of insecurity and timidity. This can lead to non-stop talking and gossiping or being verbally aggressive or mean. You tend to speak too much and not being able to listen to others. The opposite manifestation of a blocked chakra can be introversion, which is excessive secretiveness or shyness.
For the healing meditation of the fifth chakra, you can do the breathing technique. With your eyes close, sit comfortably and align your thoughts with your breathing. Inhale through your nostrils and exhale from your mouth. Repeat this method and enjoy the sound of air as it enters and leaves your body. Since the chakra is the expression of what’s within you, one way to heal is by writing a journal. Express yourself in the pages and papers. In this way, you can dig deeper into what is within you, and be able to overcome it through the process.
Ajna (Third Eye Chakra)
The Ajna is known as the third-eye chakra. Ajna means command or perceiving because it translates to the command, which refers to the higher understanding of wisdom that guides the people’s actions. This chakra is not associated with any elements, as it is considered beyond the physical elements. But it is related to the supreme element. Its color is purple or bluish purple. It is the center of vision, intuition, prophecy, self-assurance, and imagination.
The Ajna is located between the eyebrows, above the bridge of the nose. It is made part of the brain, which can be made powerful through meditation. Its symbol is like a transparent lotus flower with two white petals with an inverted triangle within the circle. These two petals symbolize the sense of duality between the self and God. And the triangle is your connection to the divine and true enlightenment.
The characteristics of Ajna are associated with intuition, vision, perception of subtle dimension, connection to wisdom, and motivation of inspiration and creativity. When your third-eye chakra is open, it allows you to an intuitive sensibility and inner perception. To be able to sustain awareness of this chakra, you need to be focused so your consciousness can see beyond what eyes can see.
This chakra is imbalanced when you feel stuck in something difficult to complete without being able to see the very reason behind it and not being able to set plans to complete it. Without the coordination and support of the other chakra, the overactive Ajna may also lead to illusions or making fantasies and perceiving it real as the reality. On the other side, blocked Ajna may manifest when you reject everything spiritual or anything that is beyond unusual and gives you a lack of clarity.
Keep your conscious healthy with the healing methods of the third-eye chakra. Go to a quiet place where no one can disturb you. Close your eyes while you sit comfortably and look inward. Set your focus to your third eye location. Imagine yourself looking into the panoramic video screen. Think of yourself in the past when you are doing something that you took pride in. And once you have settled your imagination to that scene, imagine yourself at the present time performing the same action. Then with the same exact action, imagine yourself doing it into the future. This will bring you to the realization that your past and present actions have a direct influence on whatever there is in the future. When you keep your Ajna open, you will develop the mental flexibility that will help you identify the reality and what they really are.
Sahasrara (Crown Chakra)
The seventh Chakra completes your knowledge on what are the seven chakras in yoga. The Sahasrara or the Crown chakra is referred to as the thousand-petalled chakra, and it symbolizes spiritual awareness and enlightenment. It is associated with nothingness or space. This chakra is also associated with white color, and the petals have a deep purple color.
The symbol of the crown chakra is composed of a circle with a thousand petals. The petals represent the connection to the divine being, unity with others, and the universe. The circle represents the full moon, which means openness or the awakening of the conscious mind. The crown chakra is located at the top of the head. It is called crown chakra basically because it sits like a crown and radiating upwards. It is associated with the brain and the whole nervous system.
The main characteristics of the crown chakra are consciousness, wisdom, connection with the formless, and communion with the higher state of consciousness. So, when you open your crown chakra, you will feel the state of blissful connection with all spiritual ecstasy. This allows direct access to the upmost clarity and enlightened wisdom. Others would treat this chakra as the gateway to the divine self or to universal consciousness.
The imbalanced crown chakra means a disconnection to the spirit or on the other side, it is the disconnection from your body and earthly matters or being closeminded. Physically you will feel depressed or the feeling of having mental fog, chronic fatigue, migraine, and chronic headache. One of the powerful ways to bring back the balance of crown chakra is through meditation. This includes invasion of a glowing white light pouring over your head, filling your body and connecting you the world around you. Silence activates this chakra. It also requires focusing on breathing. Meditation for crown chakra is not about working on the posture but rather working on the mindfulness.
It is interesting to know that as Yogi, you don’t just deal with poses and meditation, but it goes deeper than that. Learning what are the seven chakras in yoga helps you understand the deeper meaning of meditation and being connected to nature and dig into the deeper level of your consciousness. It provides you the real meaning of peace and calmness. And while there can still be a lot that you need to understand, being able to join yoga classes brings benefits and provide wellness to overall self, including mental, physical, and spiritual health.